• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Oct 21, 2008
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Image
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 140 Ratings

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  • Summary: The legendary Castlevania series is back in its 3rd installment on the Nintendo DS. This time you play as a member of the Ecclesia, an organization that has sworn to defeat the evil forces of Dracula. Use the brand new Glyph attack system which has more than 100 different combinations toThe legendary Castlevania series is back in its 3rd installment on the Nintendo DS. This time you play as a member of the Ecclesia, an organization that has sworn to defeat the evil forces of Dracula. Use the brand new Glyph attack system which has more than 100 different combinations to battle Dracula and his minions throughout 20 explorable areas. Take part in side quests and collect items to power up your character in the next great Castlevania game produced by Koji Igarashi. Castlevania: The Order of Ecclesia features intense side-scrolling action gameplay as you quest to collect elements that will help you in your quest against Dracula. Explore all-new outdoor areas from the forests to the ocean. Compete head-to-head via the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi Connection. Sell and buy items and equipment you have found while playing with other players utilizing Nintendo DS Wi-Fi Connection. Utilize multiple abilities and attacks simultaneously with the all-new Glyph attack system. Replay more than once to discover multiple endings. [Konami] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. 100
    Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia's gameplay and presentation make it one of the best to date, alongside Symphony of the Night and other legendary entries.
  2. Order of Ecclesia proves that the Castlevania formula is still as fun now as it was ten years ago, and the new gameplay mechanics keep things fresh and interesting. It’s a 2D action masterpiece, and absolute required playing for any DS owner.
  3. The story is top-notch, the graphics are excellent, the controls are great, and the gameplay, while difficult, is still rewarding.
  4. It likely won’t unseat Symphony of the Night as fans’ all-time fave, but its inventive gameplay, outstanding visual presentation, and haunting music—always a high point in the franchise—easily make Ecclesia as good as the series’ DS debut Dawn of Sorrow.
  5. A successful blend of the Metroidvania style of Symphony of the Night and straightforward, extremely difficult nature of older titles in the series.
  6. Games Master UK
    81
    Another brilliant adventure from Konami but only the hardiest vampire hunters need apply. [Feb 2009, p.84]
  7. Edge Magazine
    60
    It is a shame that Konami so overinflates the experience through early chores, especially as it has struck the balance between hardcore fans and casual explorers so well in the past. [Jan 2009, p.88]

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. SeymourB
    Aug 8, 2009
    10
    This is by far my favorite DS and Castlevania game. My only complaint would be the ridiculous amount of time it takes to level up; you are This is by far my favorite DS and Castlevania game. My only complaint would be the ridiculous amount of time it takes to level up; you are forced to grind an awful lot to make it past the tougher challenges. And those complaining about the difficulty of the game should just try harder. Truly challenging games are rarities these days, and you're only helping to exacerbate that by complaining to developers. Once I completed the story, beat both secret areas and leveled up to 99, I was able to beat EVERY boss without even getting hit. This game is my idea of a perfect platforming title and the best $30 ever spent. Expand
  2. SteveM.
    Oct 29, 2008
    10
    This game is excellent. Really, right up there with Symphony and Dawn of Sorrow. A word to the weak: the game is hard. Despite what you may This game is excellent. Really, right up there with Symphony and Dawn of Sorrow. A word to the weak: the game is hard. Despite what you may have heard, the bosses are not unfair, and it is not a grind-fest. You simply need patience and a memory worth 30 seconds to assess their patterns and take them down, which is rewarding, to defeat such difficult bosses. Really, game reviewers are wrong to fault a game for being difficult when it is not a product of bad design. I'm so sick of challenge being interpreted as archaic design. This game is a really polished gem. Expand
  3. jasonc
    Apr 2, 2009
    10
    I brought this game recently, the actual gameplay is brilliant, not massively different from past castlevania games but then this would not I brought this game recently, the actual gameplay is brilliant, not massively different from past castlevania games but then this would not be castlevania if they changed the way it plays out too much. the game bosses are difficult...and i love it!!, a boss is called a boss because hes the big daddy at the end of the level, he's the one the other enemies look up to. this is what we loved about old school 2d scrollers, theres nothing more memorable that kick ass bosses. ok nobody likes being stumped by bosses, but there is always a way, a tactic to beat every boss, when you get it you are pleased and look forward to the next big boss!... aside from GTA:CW this is the next best DS game available, classic 2d scrolling with a few good new features and memorable kick arse bosses you wont forget in a hurry. you gotta love it. Expand
  4. Oct 11, 2010
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is often overlooked because of its higher difficulty level. However, I would argue that this is actually one of the game's strong points. Unlike other metroidvanias such as SotN and PoR, OoE gives a challenge actually that stays consistent throughout the game, meaning that the player will never become bored with lack of combat immersion. Contrary to many other games with RPG elements, Castlevania doesn't force you to level grind in order to defeat the more difficult enemies and bosses. Instead, all you need is a little bit of patience and pattern recognition, and you'll be running through levels without taking any damage in no time. OoE also boasts a wonderful style of art, leaning toward the traditional, more Gothic and dark theme that the original Castlevanias employed over the anime style that was featured in Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. The enemies look sharp and crisp and Shanoa herself is very well animated. The backdrops throughout the game are also detailed and varied whilst remaining mysterious-looking and Gothic, and the new levels outside of Dracula's castle also give more variety. No longer will you be confined to the same old castle - you can now fight in locales ranging from foggy forests to cloud-piercing mountains. This new gameplay feature of locations outside of the castle may be seen by some as linear but, in reality, OoE still features the same old metroidvania gameplay of going back to old levels with new abilities to find secrets and new items; it's just that you are no longer limited to one big castle when doing this. Speaking of which, there are several secret items and glyphs to go back and retrieve at later points in the game.

    The combat system in OoE is great. Shanoa uses magical weapons called Glyphs, which function just as standard weapons from previous Castlevanias, except with new features such as Unions and mixing magic-based Glyphs with physically-based Glyphs. The combat is fluid and Shanoa is very agile; the controls are prefect whether you are double-jumping, backdashing, or even dodging an enemy's ranged attacks in the air. There are also some minor online features - shop mode and race, but only shop mode will really catch your attention.

    The story in Order of Ecclesia is pretty good, but nothing groundbreaking, but the characters themselves slightly make up for this. The music in OoE is a bit of a disappointment compared to previous music-heavy Castlevanias such as PoR and SotN, with only 1 or 2 exceptional tracks, but the overall quality is still quite good.

    The re-playability of Order of Ecclesia is excellent. Whereas the normal story generally takes about 25 hours to complete, you will spend another 25 simply hunting for all of the secret items, weapons, and glyphs, playing around in Boss Rush and Sound modes, completing the Training Hall and Large Cavern, playing Albus and hard modes and subsequently reaching level 255, and maxing out all attributes familiars.

    All-in-all Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is an excellent game that shouldn't be ignored simply because it is harder than your average game (which, to be frank, isn't hard in the slightest). OoE is a great game for anyone looking for a side-scrolling platformer with RPG elements, and an excellent game for a Castlevania fan in particular.
    Expand
  5. Mar 16, 2014
    9
    This alongside Dawn of Sorrow is the best Castlevania game since Symphony of The Night. Its challenging difficulty makes it extra rewardingThis alongside Dawn of Sorrow is the best Castlevania game since Symphony of The Night. Its challenging difficulty makes it extra rewarding and its hack n slash gameplay is the best on the DS. And of course there's the great Metroidvania formula that makes the series so popular. Definitely worth your time. Expand
  6. Mar 11, 2013
    8
    Better than dawn of sorrow.
  7. Feb 26, 2020
    2
    Order of Ecclesia is, I'm sorry, a complete mess of a game. Konami seemingly took everything they knew about the Castlevania formula, and thenOrder of Ecclesia is, I'm sorry, a complete mess of a game. Konami seemingly took everything they knew about the Castlevania formula, and then ignored it completely. Whatever was kept, they made a conscious effort to make worse.

    Gone are the sprawling, interconnected worlds of previous entries for an overworld map. Need to get quickly to a previous area? Fast travel to the warp point closest to the area exit, then go through several intermediate rooms to said exit, select your destination on the overworld map, walk to another teleporter, find the closest warp point to where you need to go (and hope a convenient warp point exists in the first place), then walk some more. Oh, and heaven help you if you don't remember exactly where you need to backtrack, because area maps are only visible in that area.

    Rather than simply picking up things by touching them, and opening containers by hitting them, as every other game in the series does, you must now stop and press up on the control pad. Which, in the case of collecting "glyphs", which take the place of weapons, spells, and subweapons, requires you to stand still whilst unable to defend yourself for several seconds. Not to worry, though, as you won't be collecting glyphs often. Unlike in previous titles, where every enemy had something to collect from it, most enemies now drop nothing, and even those that do seem to have much lower rates than in previous series entries.

    Another thing enemies give less of is experience. Leveling up is a slow, tedious chore, especially in the early game. Bad news, since this game demands that you grind. Yes, you might be able to learn to get through some of the tricky sequences by skill, but mastering the game to the degree that you don't need grinding would take even longer - it's just not worth anybody's time. This can make even getting to the second boss a significant hurdle, as leveling takes forever, and you have to go through a completely unnecessary number of straight linear screens full of enemies (what I like to call "Corridors of Pain") to get to the next real map. You're going to end up avoiding most of the enemies on these screens, too, because fighting them at a low level with early equipment is just too much of a health tax for what precious little you'll have.

    ...and as an aside, it's not a good sign when the level design feels closer to Castlevania II than any other entry in the series.

    You're not missing much. Combat is horrible too. First of all, since Shanoa's ability to use glyphs apparently renders her incapable of holding a real weapon, all of your attacks use a regenerating mana bar. When the mana runs out, you can't fight. There's a "combo" system, but I don't know if you can really call alternating attack buttons to swing while one hand is on cooldown a combo. You could technically mix and match glyphs, but barring some specific combinations, this really isn't useful. Most of the time, you'll just end up using two of whatever it is you wanted to use. Nor are the enemies really updated to make use of this new system. They still behave the same as they did in previous entries, so the best way to fight them is still pretty much the same. All the new combat mechanics add is hassle for the player.

    That's really the core problem with Order of Ecclesia. It adds a lot to the Castlevania formula, but none of it is really an improvement. It all just feels like it's there for the sake of being different, without thought into how it makes the experience more fun. I hesitated about reviewing this game because it's held in such high regard, but the truth is, it doesn't deserve the praise. Everything about Order of Ecclesia is superficial. There's added complexity, but not depth. There's added challenge, but it's tedious rather than satisfying. The world feels bigger and the game longer, but only because there's so much padding.

    Without giving spoilers, the story...well, at it's core, it's formulaic. We've seen this story before in the Castlevania series. Multiple times. They try to dress it up with the bits about Ecclesia and the glyphs, but it's still rehashing tired tropes and well-trodden ground. At least, the parts that aren't a nonsensical mess. Grant you, it's not uncharacteristically bad for a Castlevania plotline, but there's nothing worthy of praise about it either.

    The art design and music are great, but not particularly exceptional for the series. They don't stand out as anything special. Ultimately, I'd say that they just make the game a well-polished turd with a shiny coat of paint.
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See all 31 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

6
6
#6 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
3
#3 Most Shared DS Game of 2008